Lots of people are talking (or maybe whispering) about the Fifty Shades of Grey novels, the provocative series from British writer E.L. James about a sexual subculture that has readers entranced. Now, a new article from Salon.com has senior care bloggers and thought leaders in a similar buzz: Let grandma have sex! is the piece that’s created quite a stir, yet has opened discussion on an important topic.
Sex in senior living communities: in assisted living, in Alzheimer’s care, in active adult/retirement settings. It’s a tough topic that is tied up in conversations about resident rights, privacy and dignity, choice, freedom, and at times, family input.
There are layers of complexity to this issue that certainly cannot be covered in just one article, but the fact that Salon and others are bringing it to light is an important first step in generating dialogue about senior sex.
The Salon article references findings from a new study by Australian researchers, titled, “Dementia, sexuality and consent in residential aged care facilities.” (Read the study abstract here.) Dementia makes for even more grey area on the issue, as “cognitive issues…can complicate consent” while “these conditions can also ramp up sexual behavior,” per the article.
Read our blog post, Yes, Seniors Do Have (and Enjoy) Sex for more on this topic.
Weigh in: What is an appropriate stance for senior living providers on a resident’s right to sexual expression?